Portishead Neighbourhood Plan Submission Consultation

Portishead Neighbourhood Plan 2022-2038

Policy PWH7: Adaptable New Homes


4.56 The Government’s reform of Health and Adult Social Care is underpinned by a principle of sustaining people at home for as long as possible. This has been reflected in recent changes to building regulations relating to adaptations and wheelchair accessible homes published in the Building Regulations 2010 Approved Document Part M: Access to and use of buildings.

4.57 Part M states that local authorities should identify the proportion of dwellings in new developments that should comply with the requirements for accessible and adaptable homes based on the likely future need for housing for older and disabled people (including wheelchair user dwellings) and taking account of the overall impact on viability.

4.58 Planning Practice Guidance for Housing expects local authorities to plan for households with specific needs.

4.59 The North Somerset Housing Needs Assessment50 identifies that the number of households over the plan period living with an existing illness or disability that affects their housing need will be 16,647, of which 960 are households likely to need wheelchair adapted housing.

4.60 It identifies that the population of North Somerset aged 75+ is likely to increase by around 10,092 between 2023 and 2038, and there is already a shortfall in the provision of housing for elderly people of just over 4,500 in North Somerset. The proportion of older people in Portishead is predicted to increase by 54% during the lifetime of the Neighbourhood Plan period. The Portishead Local Housing Needs Assessment has evidenced the projected increase in the proportion of older people living in Portishead by 54% by 2038. It is therefore locally necessary that residential developments now provide accessible housing in accordance with the levels and qualities set out in draft policy DP44 (Accessible and adaptable homes).

4.61 The proportions of new accessible homes set out in Neighbourhood Plan Policy PWH7 reflect projected need for accessible and adaptable homes over the plan period. The higher requirement for affordable homes reflects the Portishead Housing Needs Assessment’s conclusion that ‘the rates of limiting long-term illness or disability affecting housing needs are much higher in the affordable tenures (affordable tenures are more than three times more likely to need an adapted home), the evidence supports consideration of a high proportion of affordable homes being built to at least M4(2) standards where viability allows, perhaps as much as 100%.’

4.62 North Somerset Development Management Policy DM42 (Accessible and adaptable housing) seeks to deliver accessible and adaptable homes and expects development proposals to provide accessible and adaptable homes built to Category 2 standards where practical and viable.

4.63 Emerging draft North Somerset Local Plan policy DP44 (Accessible and adaptable homes) reflects increased standards for the provision and specification of accessible housing to meet both forecast needs and current building regulations. Upon adoption, policy DP44 will replace existing North Somerset policy DM42. It will strengthen the requirement to provide accessible and adaptable homes - as currently drafted, policy DM42 states: “on residential development sites of 10 dwellings or more the following proportions of accessible and adaptable homes will be required:

  • For market housing within a scheme 50% of homes will be required to meet Building Regulations M4 (2) category 2 standard (to be ‘accessible and adaptable dwellings’) and a further 10% will be required to meet Building Regulations M4 (3) category 3 (‘wheelchair user dwellings’).
  • For affordable housing within a scheme 80% of homes will be required to meet Building Regulations M4 (2) category 2 standard (to be ‘accessible and adaptable dwellings’) and a further 20% will be required to meet Building Regulations M4 (3) category 3 (‘wheelchair user dwellings’).”

Relevant Objective

O8 To protect Portishead’s stock of one and two bedroom and accessible homes, and ensure that any future housing that comes forward to meet government targets contains a diverse range of tenures, forms and sizes to meet the identified housing needs of the community, protects and enhances Portishead’s distinct character and maintains resident amenity and highway safety.

Local Policy Context

  • CS2: Delivering sustainable design and construction. 
  • DM42: Accessible and Adaptable Housing


Residential schemes of 10 units or more will be supported where they are in conformity with Building Regulations Part M and demonstrate how they have responded positively to the Portishead Local Housing Needs Assessment.